IT and Business Insights for SMB Solution Providers

How Channel Partners Can More Intelligently Use Multiple Clouds

Managed IT service providers can help customers optimize their organizational apps by taking advantage of a multicloud environment. By Nancy Teixeira

With 5G and data centers continuing to increase, cloud and digital transformation are becoming even more crucial for businesses of all sizes. Companies that don’t look for ways to maximize both internal and customer applications to their utmost will see a widening competitive disadvantage. To help their managed services customers enhance their applications accordingly, channel partners should look to utilize multicloud environments. Cloud can be applied in multiple different areas, and it doesn’t all have to come from the same place. This multicloud environment requires businesses to pivot and rethink how they want to optimize their organizational apps.

Here is what channel partners should prioritize during this pivot.

Start Small

When figuring out how to move a customer’s business into the cloud, it doesn’t need to be an “all or nothing” mentality. Channel partners can choose to start with something a customer is struggling with and explore cloud options for that one application first. This gentle step into a hybrid solution is much more feasible for most than an approach of “rip and replace” the internal data center.

By choosing an application that executives in the business already recognize needs work, channel pros can set up companies for success in their first foray into a hybrid cloud environment. For example, adopting a cloud financial management platform can offer deep industry-specific accounting capabilities, extensive process automation, and high configurability with real-time visibility to finance users and other stakeholders across the business.

Free Up the IT Team for High-Level Strategy

A partner offering co-managed IT services, providing a core help desk, takes the burden off the IT team of providing standard user account management, deployments, and PC deployments. Similarly, switching from private on-premises cloud to multicloud environments with supporting data centers and applications can also free up the customer’s IT internal resources. This indirectly affects revenue by allowing the IT team to work on proactively partnering with business units to drive more value into the organization rather than having to focus on the standard IT processes.

Prioritize Data Security, Minimize Risk

With all the possible threats against the cloud and its data storage, channel partners must ensure that their cloud environments have functionalities that can offer security and minimize risk. Without this level of security, partners are leaving themselves and their customers at risk. Any top-notch cloud environment must have constant monitoring and support, with hourly backup snapshots that would prove crucial in the event of disaster recovery.

To protect a company’s data, channel pros should also ensure that the data centers they choose to use have features like standby servers, redundant network components, and parallel redundant generators. Security features should prioritize no downtime as well as prevent outside attacks, such as through enforced password changes and automatic session timeouts.

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